It’s the last official weekend of Summer and I’m hardcore celebrating. And by hardcore celebrating, I mean lighting my @raedunn fall scented candles, binge watching Netflix and going to bed before 10pm. 🙌🏻 Remember when our nights didn’t even start until 10pm? I would dance all night, get back home with just enough time to shower and change before heading out to work. AND I could work a full 8 hours without ever feeling the fact that I hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours... Now I’m unable to function if someone wakes me up 15 minutes early. Getting old is awesome. .
.
.
#letterboardquotes #letterboard #letterboards #letterboardlove #letterboardfun #farmhouselove #farmhousestyle #letterboardquote #magnoliastyle #howyouhome #makehomeyours #pocketofmyhome #modernfarmhousestyle #modernfarmhousedecor #ighome #modernfarmhouse #howwedwell #homegoodsfinds #raedunnfinds #raedunn #homegoods #tjmaxxfinds #raedunnfinds #targetdoesitagain #targetdollarspot #raedunnfall #pumpkinseason #pumpkinspice #homegoodshappy

It’s the last official weekend...

I read something the other day on Facebook that said that the song that was number 1 on your 14th birthday, defines your life. I googled it, excited to find a message, a sign (I’m a sucker for that sort of thing). Instead, I found it was “Cream” by Prince. 😐 Cream? What does that mean? Ice cream? Coffee creamer? 
So I looked it up... and read the lyrics. "Cream" was meant to mean “cream of the crop”. There are lyrics like “everything you do is success” and my favorite part... “Do your dance
Why should you wait any longer?
Take a chance
It could only make you stronger”  Message received, Prince. Message received. 
What song was number one on your 14th birthday?
.
.
#coffeetime☕ #frenchvanilla #pumpkinspice #pumpkineverything #pumpkinspicelatte #pumpkinpie #raedunnlove #raedunnfinds #raedunn #raedunnmugs #raedunnclay #tjmaxxfinds #tjmaxx #homegoodshappy #homegoodsfinds #amazonfinds #marshallsfinds #marshalls #homegoods #coffeeholic #coffeebar #coffee_time #coffeetable #coffeecoffeecoffee #fall🍁 #prince #songlyrics

I read something the other...

This girl lost another tooth last week. I’ve been waiting for this toothless smile since she knocked her other one out last year. Unfortunately, it’s not going to last long because her adult tooth is already growing in 😭. (Zoom in to see) Yesterday I noticed both of her front-bottom teeth are peeking out behind her baby teeth too. Does anyone know how to slow down time. A button? A phone call? Maybe a time machine? My baby isn’t a baby anymore. Cue the tears. Have you celebrated any milestones with your kids recently?
.
.
.
#losttooth #targetfinds #targetclearance #targetdoesitagain #targetdeals #targetstyle #slowdown #growing  #growinguphispanic #growingup #smile😊 #smiles 
#momblog #mommyblog #momblogger #mombloggers #bloggermom #mommybloggers #momswhoblog #mommyblogger #mamablogger #momsofinstagram

This girl lost another tooth...

I don’t get bouquets of flowers for no reason…. But I do appreciate the flowers that grow by our mailbox, like this one. And it made me realize something this morning.  I’m over it. 
I’m over comparing my life to other people’s lives on social media.
My house might not be as fancy. 
My wardrobe is not as expensive. 
I don't apply makeup as well or even at all most days.
I don’t have beautiful, long flowing hair.
I don’t drive a car that’s worth bragging about. 
We don’t go on lavish trips around the world. 
I don’t carry loads of money in designer handbags. 
Does that make me less of a person? 
Does that make me less of an influencer? 
No. It makes me a regular 40-something Mom who has chosen to open up and share our lives on social media.  It makes me someone who has built this hobby of photography and writing into a business that has solely supported my family for a year and a half. 
I’m proud of that. 
I’m proud that I’m not a follower.
I’m proud that I have worked hard for what I’ve achieved.
I’m proud of influencers like me who are unapologetically themselves.  What are you proud of? .
.
.
#inspiringquotes #inspirations #inspiredaily #motivationquotes #motivational #motivating #inspirationalquotes #womenempowerment #womenempoweringwomen #empoweringwomen #empowerment #influencers #bloggersofinstagram #bloggermom #momtruth #truthhurts

I don’t get bouquets of...

F O U R T E E N. 
What do you give your oldest daughter when she turns 14? Well, when you’re me, you write her a poem and post it on the blog for the world to see. Head over to read it and let me know what you think. Then, help me wish Lucia the best 14th birthday ever 👇🏻👇🏻
.
.
.
#birthdaygirl #birthdays #birthday🎂 #birthdayqueen #birthdaylove #birthdaygifts #birthdayfun #birthdaygirl👑 #birthdaygift #birthdaygirls #fourteen #teenage #teengirl #poemsofinstagram #poetryofinstagram

F O U R T...

It was just after Iyla's third birthday. She seemed to be on track, at least according to the pediatrician's checklist. She could follow instructions, name most familiar things, knew her first name, spoke in sentences and could carry a conversation, though she was hard to understand most of the time. We enrolled her in preschool that year and she was a little social butterfly. But as that school year went on, her teachers started to notice that she was struggling to get her words out. Most people that know Iyla today, have no idea that she was in speech therapy classes for two years. They have no idea that I fought it for almost 6 months and that I felt a tremendous guilt about it, because I thought it was my fault that she was stuttering as badly as she was. Today on the blog, I’m sharing the mistakes I made, in hopes that if you are ever in this situation, you take advantage of early intervention. .
.
#speechtherapy #stuttering #speechies #speechpathology #earlyintervention #earlyinterventionspeech #earlyinterventionprogram #publicschool #oldnavy #oldnavystyle #minted #amazon #amazonfinds #pridesocks #letthembelittle #kidsplay #rollerskating #rollerskates #mommoments

It was just after Iyla's...

There are two types of kids. 1) The kid who wants to eat the same thing every single day of the week, sometimes more than one time per day and 2) The kid who loves something one day and then hates it the next. #ad Which type of kid do you have? Or, are your kids like mine and bounce back and forth between the two? Either way, there is a way to make lunches more fun for kids. I'll let you in on a little secret... creating fun lunches is more fun for us too! This week, we created our first character, Inspector Caper Eyes. Head to the blog for more details! Plus, learn why we choose @JuicyJuiceUSA new better-for-you options, which are packed with functional benefits with juicy flavor that parents can feel great about serving to their kids.
.
.
#foodvideo #recipevideo #juicyjuice #videostar #videoviral #videooftheday #funvideo #targetfinds #targetdeals #targetdoesitagain #walmart #walmartfinds #tjmaxxfinds #tjmaxx #marshallsfinds #marshalls #homegoodsfinds #homegoodshappy #homegoods #yummyyummy #yummyfood #familyfriendly #familyfriendlymeals #familylife #funfood #kidslunchbox

There are two types of...

Remember I told you guys about our day dates now that the girls are #backtoschool? Well, we’ve really been enjoying them. #sponsored We walk, talk and laugh (a lot). Have you seen our IGTV yet? It’s a cheesy, beautiful video of what our relationship is like. I love that we’re able to connect and that we can make the time in our day to focus on our relationship and our health. Since we have three daughters, it’s even more important to go the extra mile when it comes to taking care of ourselves. These awesome @amazfit watches help us with that. I have the Amazfit Verge and Super Dad has the Amazfit Bip. They are lightweight, have app notifications and track your daily activity, your heart rate and so much more. The Amazfit Bip comes with a 30-day battery life and the Verge comes with Alexa built-in and you can make and receive phone calls through the watch. We can track our activity, sleep and heart rate and hold each other accountable for better decisions, when it comes to fitness and health. Visit rcl.ink/UyB to check them out and make sure to take advantage of the sale they’re currently having. No discount code necessary! What are you doing to get back to you? .
.
#dates #dateyourspouse #dateyourhusband #laughs #lovethislife #qualitytime #healthier #healthcare #fitnesslife #fitnessfun #fitstagram #exercisemotivation #smartwatch #smartwatches #techy #backtoyou #selfcarethreads #selfcarematters #parkrun #couplesgoals #coupleshoot

Remember I told you guys...

Take me back to the time when all I had to do was color in the lines, learn my abc’s and take a long nap everyday. Why didn’t we appreciate what we had back then? .
.
.
#Letterboardquotes #letterboard #letterboards #letterboardlove #letterboardfun #farmhouselove #farmhousestyle #letterboardquote #magnoliastyle #howyouhome #makehomeyours #pocketofmyhome #modernfarmhousestyle #modernfarmhousedecor #ighome #modernfarmhouse #howwedwell #homegoodsfinds #raedunnfinds #raedunn #homegoods #homegoodshappy #targetdoesitagain #targetdeals #raedunnclay #raedunnlove #adultingishard #adulting

Take me back to the...

#AD Our girls love nature, so this weekend, we headed to a local nature preserve for a little animal watching, walking and family time. We always pack the essentials when we're heading out in this Florida heat, including snacks, sunblock and @smartwater, because we know how important it is to stay hydrated. We love smartwater® because it's purified water made using vapor distillation, similar to the way water is purified in nature. It's available in 700mL and 1L bottles. Now through 9/15, you can save $2.75 off at Sam's Club, so stock up! (limit 10 per member) https://lnk2.io/abYC5gD #kidsfitness #fitnessfun #daddyslittlegirl #natureseekers #naturephotos #exercisemotivation #familyfitness #fitnessforlife #qualitytime #bestdad #bestdayever #bestfriendgoals #fatherdaughter #dadofgirls #smartwater #hydrate #hydration #drinkwater #marshalls #marshallsfinds

#AD Our girls love nature,...

Coming Together To Help One of Our Own

If You Love It, Share It!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Today I found out that one of my favorite rep’s @adventures_of_lennon_blue_ and her family have been going through something absolutely devastating. I’m not sure how I missed the original post, but three weeks ago, Ash posted the following on Instagram:

“…I’ve always considered myself a fairly strong woman. No matter what life has dealt me, I’ve trained my mind to deal with it, with the least amount of scarring possible, and to never let it make me bitter. Life has had a way of making me question a lot of things. From going through a divorce fit for a movie on the Lifetime channel, before I even turned 20. To watching my hero, my grandma, lose her battle with dementia, this summer. (and in between those years, sprinkle in being molested, finding out my eldest son was being abused, and having to pack up and move to a gated area with security officers, my ex-fiancé committing suicide, causing me to fear falling asleep, because of the nightmares of me trying to take his gun the day before he shot himself, leading to years of addiction, depression, anxiety, and a lot of self harming, because I gave up on my worth) But, I always pulled through, until recently. Once I had Lenny I went from working full-time, to never leaving my house. The longer I stayed home, the more introverted, and socially awkward I became. It got to the point where I’d cry and break out in hives, if I had to leave. I went from a social butterfly to a hermit. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago we found out our house was full of black mold from a leak in our crawlspace, and I had severe black mold poisoning, and was forced to leave my safe haven. A few days ago my sickness got worse and the stiffness in my neck became so unbearable, I lost my mind. My high pain tolerance is no match for whatever is going on inside me, and my daughter watched me crumble, and I will never forgive myself. So now a tiny hotel room is our home, as a lay in a bed, crying. So positive vibes would be great, as my husband and I try to keep our shit together for the kids, and keep our family happy and safe.”

I had always looked at Ash as the “cool Mom”, through her posts on Instagram. The carefree, bad ass, says what’s on her mind Mom.  Lenny was one of our first reps for our t-shirt shop and I loved the chats that Ash and I had, as few and far between as they were.  I would regularly visit their IG page to laugh at their cute IG stories, to admire the beautiful and real photography and to watch little Lenny be one of the freest spirits I had ever come across. I never imagined that Ash was dealing with any of these things and that she and I actually were more alike then I could have ever imagined.  Although I haven’t shared with most of the brand rep community, I too suffer from anxiety that keeps me from leaving my home.  In that moment, reading her post, relating to way too much of it, I froze. Tears filled my eyes and I realized that this could’ve been my family.  This could’ve been me.  And I felt compelled to read on…

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 4.02.54 PM
Photo by @adventures_of_lennon_blue_

 

A strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time… For years I’ve battled with depression & anxiety, but this winter it got extremely worse, & weird things started to happen. Last summer I noticed a few white dots on my back, and assumed it was from tanning. The spots now cover my entire back and shoulders. I went 35 years of my life, without one yeast infection, or uti and suddenly I was a poster child for both. Except every urine sample I took came back negative, but still received meds, because of the extreme amounts of bacteria in my pee. (TMI, I know) My sinusitis was so bad, I couldn’t take it, along with chronic migraines. My hands swelled so badly, by bedtime I couldn’t bend my fingers. My teeth started shifting and hurting, and my hair began falling out, & bruises appeared. My vision was blurry, & my naval cavities were so dry, I’d put coconut oil on a Q-tip, just to be able to blow my nose. Every day, it was something new. I was losing it. 1st week of Feb my husband started putting a new roof on, because our porch collapsed. The more he worked, the sicker I got. I couldn’t even bend my neck. Pj noticed mold, and called a specialist. They told us to leave for a few days, while they treated it. What we thought was a small amount, turned into an insane amount of toxic mold, and they couldn’t believe we all weren’t dead. Yesterday we got the news that we not only lost our home, but pretty much everything inside, because of all the mold spores. I wept as I thought about every piece of artwork my kids had made, hanging in the house. For over a week, we’ve stayed in everything from a shed, to a car. 15 years of memories gone, as we get handed a $10k check, to start completely over. If it wasn’t for Pj, I’d have already jumped into the river. He is my better half in pink Dollar Store pants we now share. I know that even though we both are breaking, our love is now, unbreakable.”

You have to love her honesty.  Ash is someone that is going through something so scary and yet, she can somehow write down her feelings in a way that we could all relate to.  Toxic mold is not something that targets a certain class of people.  This is not something that anyone brings on themselves. This is a situation that could happen to any of us, young or old, rich or poor.  It’s a situation that most people want to avoid, but may not be able to because they didn’t even know it was happening.  This devastating experience should hopefully make you appreciate everything you have just a little bit more.  It should make you think about doing something to help this beautiful family that doesn’t deserve any of this.  Whether it be sending them some clothing, donating to their GOFUNDME page, donating to the auction that has been set up for them, or bidding on items in the auction.  Even words of encouragement or prayers will mean the world to this family.  Anything you can give is better than nothing.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 4.09.33 PM
Photo by @adventures_of_lennon_blue_

 

Every day I see my husband and I losing it more and more. Lenny has been the strongest one of us all, and has not once complained about not being able to play with any of her toys, or drink chocolate milk out of the same purple sippy cup she’s had for years. Yesterday, I realized that Lenny hasn’t had any toys to play with for over 12 days, and not once has she bitched. She has not been able to pet her cat she’s had for almost a year, once, and yet she keeps smiling. She has not been able to watch one of her favorite fucking cartoons on Netflix once, yet not one peep about it. This little girl has turned a rock into her new cellphone. During supper, I asked everyone to say the one thing we missed the most about home, instead of our usual, “Best part of your day, worst part of your day.” Lenny always demands to go last. One by one we started spewing out all the little things we took for granted… like Sayge’s laptop, Blake being able to go to his room, and play music as loud as he wanted. Pj being able to wake up and find his clothes, vs. going through a plethora of bags, just to find a fucking sock, and me, being able to pour a big ass cup of coffee, and make breakfast for the kids, and then do the dishes. (ps. Who the fuck misses doing dishes) When it got to Lenny’s turn she paused for a moment, and said, “I miss mommy not crying all the time, and daddy not yelling, and being angry. I lost it. What am I doing to my precious baby girl!?! How is she so unselfish, and extraordinary, as we bitch about materialistic things!?! Talk about as all sitting their feeling like a big pile of dog ? and unworthy. I don’t think I’ve ever squeezed her so tightly, in all of my life, as I rocked her. I prayed to God, I wasn’t ruining her by how we have handled losing everything. Today, yet again, this little girl taught us all something, and I am mindblown out how I got this lucky to be her mother. She literally makes me want to be a better person. I am forever blessed by her outlook on life.”

At this point I brought my daughters in the room and shared the story with them.  My oldest immediately wanted to help.  She said she couldn’t imagine leaving all of her things behind. I have tried to raise my girls in a way that they are always willing to help those in need. I try to explain that this could be us and that even though we aren’t rich by any means, we should always lend a hand and make people’s lives better, easier and bring a smile to their faces, especially when they need it the most.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 4.18.56 PM
Photo by @adventures_of_lennon_blue_

Tonight after Lenny went to sleep, Pj told me that she asked him earlier today, if it was hard being a parent when bad things keep happening. It broke my heart. I’ve been trying so hard to do better at keeping my cool, and not crying. Even last night, when the engine blew in my car, Pj and I just looked at each other, and laughed. Because, seriously, what else is there to do?… Regardless of what is happening to us financially, physically, or emotionally, it isn’t our kids problem. The main goal as a parent is to raise happy, healthy children, who don’t have to recover from their childhood, and I fear I’m failing at that. That to me, is far more worse, than losing a house, or car. So tomorrow I will try harder, because honestly, that’s all we really can do as adults. I will not fail them anymore. Pinky promise.”

The more I read, the more I wish we lived closer to them. I wish I could reach out and hug them all. I wish I could open up my home to them.  I wish I could do more.  While we donated shop credits to the auction, it just doesn’t seem like enough.  When I got permission to share their story, I knew that I had to do it and I thank you for taking the time to read it.

“I don’t have the words, nor the strength, to explain in great detail what’s happened to us in the past 12 hours, but I do know, that I am officially numb. Last night my husband and I had to bag up everything we have put into this new rental home, and start from square one. Toxic mold is no joke, and you have to be extremely careful checking every single item that enters, and making sure you take your shoes off, incase it’s on the bottom of your soles, etc… The bed of [Pj’s] truck along with his tools in the back, apparently weren’t cleaned properly, and we are back to where we started. (it’s no one’s fault but ours, because this is an overwhelming nightmare, and it didn’t even cross our minds) When we had to leave our home, with just the clothes we were wearing, Lennon had her fox, that she’s carried since birth, that has been her security blanket since day one, and it never occurred to me that it was toxic. (along with the box, containing my mammy’s ashes, and Chloe’s collar) So, not only are we having to tell my daughter that her beloved Mr. Fox is gone, but that when we brought Gilly back yesterday, he contaminated the entire house. This isn’t a sob story, for pitty, this is me shoving my pride aside, and needing help, while I try to get my family healthy again. I can’t be on my phone today, because that takes minutes away from focusing on what I need to do, to try and salvage things, along with disinfecting our house. So if any of my friends could please message, @chikai_plus_two  she is taking over trying to answer everyone who needs info about addresses, ect… because I’m too overwhelmed at the moment, and it’s too much. Thank you so much to everyone who has helped, it means the world to me, but right now I need all the prayers I can get, because I believe in him, and he believes in me, and that I can do this. ?”

I hope that if you’re reading this, it affected you just as much as it affected me. I’m hoping that you can help this beautiful family in some way. And if you are unable to help financially, then share.

Share the auction page @auction_for_lennon_blue/.

Share the GOFUNDME page.

Share, share, share!  I don’t want you flood her inbox with messages but words of encouragement are free and I’m sure incredibly needed.  Pray for them.  A lot.  Please remember that we are all family, regardless of blood.  When someone in our Small Shop Community is in pain, it affects us all.  Let’s shower this family with love and help get them through this rough time. Together, we can do anything.

XOXO
signature

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

2 Comments
  • mrcocojames
    March 22, 2017

    How heart-breaking. Thank you for spreading the word. Just followed the auction page.

    • Ashley Coffman
      March 22, 2017

      Today was the worst day of this nightmare thus far, and I prayed for God to give me a sign to keep going. I haven’t been on social media much, because I mentally checked out of life. I hopped on just now while hiding in my utility room/bedroom floor, and saw your tag. I read your words and admired this person you spoke of, because that’s the old me I miss. Your blog was my sign I needed. I love you, and thank you . Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Previous
Why Your Pictures Aren’t Good Enough
Coming Together To Help One of Our Own

%d bloggers like this: